Introducing The Principal Theme
Welcome to Lesson 2 for Grade 4.
The Manifestation of God is a very special Being, exalted above our comprehension. In the last lesson, (lesson 1) we spoke about all the wonderful activities that took place around the world to celebrate the Birth of Bahá’u’lláh over two hundred years ago.
We saw how, in every country, people are rejoicing in the knowledge that God has not left humanity alone, without direction and guidance, but has made His Will and Purpose known to us through His Supreme Manifestation. Bahá’u’lláh has given humanity all the teachings and principles we need to build a beautiful, peaceful, and united world. With each passing day, more and more people are inspired by Bahá’u’lláh’s vision of the future, and they want to know what they can do to help bring this vision into the world.
What was your favorite celebration we read about last class?
Do you remember what the participants in the village in India did?
With this class, we are going to start learning about the life of Bahá’u’lláh. Today, I will tell you a few stories about the early years of His life. Some of them you have probably heard before. As you listen to these stories, think about the attributes of God, like His loving-kindness, His wisdom, His forgiveness, and mercy.
How do we know about these attributes? We learn about them through His Manifestation, do we not? And then we try to reflect these qualities in our lives— we try to be just, as He is just; we try to be kind, as He is kind, we try to be forgiving, as He forgives. Today we will see that, even in His childhood, Bahá’u’lláh possessed all these heavenly qualities. So remarkable was He that those around Him were convinced He had been brought into the world for a special purpose. They could not know, of course, what this mighty purpose was!
What we should always remember is that, though Bahá’u’lláh was born into this world and lived at a specific time in history, He was a very special Being, filled with the Spirit of God. Later in this class, you will begin to memorize a beautiful quotation in which Bahá’u’lláh tells us that He was made manifest, not at His own choice, but by the Will of God. All the attributes and teachings revealed through Him came directly from God. His knowledge was innate, not acquired through schooling, as, indeed, we will see in the stories of His life.
Does anyone remember from Grade 3 what it means that God’s knowledge holds all things? Day by day, you and I acquire more and more knowledge, and we hope to know more today than we did yesterday and to learn more tomorrow. We learn at school; we learn from our parents; we learn from the books we read and from the things we do. But Bahá’u’lláh did not need to acquire knowledge, as do you and I. He did not go to school like other children. Nor did He involve Himself as He grew in the many debates about the truth that was common, especially among the clergy of His time. All knowledge was with Him. He knew exactly what humanity needs, and we will create a new world, as we put His teachings into practice.
There will be 3 prayers to memorize for lessons 1 to 4. All will be listed, but it is recommended to choose one at a time and learn over the next 4 lessons.
This Wronged One hath frequented no school, neither hath He attended the controversies of the learned. By My life! Not of Mine own volition have I revealed Myself, but God, of His own choosing, hath manifested MeBahá’u’lláh
Meaning Of Words
Want to know the meaning of the words in the quote? look them up and record them here. Keep it safe in your notebook!
Send A Postcard
Send to a friend or neighbor. Use email, snail mail, or hand-deliver!
Download and Print HERE
Unite The Hearts Of Thy Servants
I Found Baha’u’llah
The historical episode in this lesson focuses on the early period of Bahá’u’lláh’s life, prior to His acceptance of the Báb’s message. There are several stories that you can read in this lesson, this first one is about Baha’u’llah’s Fathers dream
The stories we read will give us some insight into all the heavenly qualities that were present in Bahá’u’lláh from childhood.
We already know that Bahá’u’lláh had innate knowledge. Listen carefully to the story and see what heavenly qualities you can find.
Bahá’u’lláh Fathers Dream
Bahá’u’lláh was born on 12 November 1817, in Ṭihrán, the capital of Persia. You already know that He was given the name Mírzá Ḥusayn-‘Alí at birth and that Bahá’u’lláh is His title, meaning the Glory of God. His father, Mírzá Buzurg, was a distinguished nobleman who held a high-ranking position in the court of the Persian king. His mother’s name was Khadíjih Khánum. In addition to a house in the capital city, the family had property in the district of Núr. Núr is situated in the province of Mázindarán, in the northern part of the country. You will hear the name “Mázindarán” often, as so many events related to the history of the Faith took place there.
From an early age, Bahá’u’lláh showed signs of greatness. One night, while He was still a small child, His father, Mírzá Buzurg, had a very special dream about Him. In the dream, he saw Bahá’u’lláh swimming in a vast ocean. The light radiating from His body illuminated the waters. His long black hair floated in all directions, and a multitude of fish followed Him, each holding on to the end of one hair. He moved freely and unhindered. Impressed by the dream, Bahá’u’lláh’s father called a man known for his insight and asked him to explain its meaning. The man told Mírzá Buzurg that the ocean was like the world and that, alone and single-handedly, his Son would achieve victory over it. And, as with the many fish that gathered around Him in the dream, the people of the world would be thrown into great tumult and would cling to Bahá’u’lláh for safety and would follow Him. But Bahá’u’lláh would be protected by the Almighty, the man assured Mírzá Buzurg, and nothing would harm Him. This dream made His father even more passionately devoted to his Son. It convinced him of the high destiny that awaited Bahá’u’lláh, and he took every measure possible to ensure His welfare and to surround Him with his loving protection.
The Puppet Show
As Bahá’u’lláh grew, His extraordinary knowledge and wisdom became more and more apparent. He did not attend school and only received some instruction at home. Young boys with high-ranking fathers like Mírzá Buzurg generally had tutors who instructed them in, for example, good manners, horseback riding, and calligraphy, a beautiful form of handwriting, but they did not teach much else. Yet Bahá’u’lláh displayed a wisdom and knowledge that went well beyond His age, and all those who knew Him were astonished by His maturity.
In a Tablet, Bahá’u’lláh Himself relates a story from His childhood. He explains in the Tablet that He was attending the wedding celebration of one of His older brothers. As was the custom in Ṭihrán at that time, a great feast was held for seven days and nights. On the last day, a puppet show about a famous king was performed. A tent was set up in the courtyard as a stage for the performance. All the guests gathered in front of the tent, while Bahá’u’lláh sat in an upper room overlooking the courtyard, from where He watched the puppet show.
A few small figures, He tells us, appeared on the stage, announcing the arrival of the king. “His Majesty is coming!” they called out. Several more figures then appeared. Some were sweeping, and others were sprinkling water in preparation for the king’s arrival. Soon after, the town crier entered the scene and told the people to assemble for an audience with the king. Several more figures then came onto the stage and took their proper places. Finally, the king made his grand entrance. Wearing a crown on his head, he walked slowly and majestically and seated himself on a throne. Shots were fired, trumpets blasted, and the tent was filled with smoke. When the smoke cleared, the king, still seated on his throne, was seen surrounded by ministers, princes, and state officials, all standing in his presence. The king gave some orders, which were immediately carried out. Then he received news of a rebellion, and he sent his troops off to fight. Bahá’u’lláh watched the entire scene with great interest. At last, the show ended and the curtain was drawn.
Some twenty minutes later, Bahá’u’lláh saw a man come out from behind the tent. He was the man in charge of the show and was carrying a box under his arm. “What is this box?” Bahá’u’lláh asked him. The man replied to Bahá’u’lláh that everything He had just seen in the show was now contained in the box—all the elaborate decorations and devices: the king and his throne, the princes and the ministers, their pomp and glory, their might and power. This statement made a great impression on Bahá’u’lláh, and He declared that, from that day forward, all the trappings of this material world—with its vanities and conflicts, its titles and honors—were nothing more than a show for Him. Like the play and pastimes of children, they would pass away and matter not.
The Unjust Tax Collector
By the time Bahá’u’lláh was a youth, He was renowned for His keen mind, excellent character, generosity, and compassion. He was capable of solving the most difficult problems and of answering the most complicated and profound questions. He displayed unmatched courage in standing up for what was right. You may remember from your studies last year the story of the tax collector. At that time in Persia, taxes were not regulated by law according to each person’s earnings. Corrupt officials, princes and, sometimes, even the king took advantage of people and forced them to pay more than what was fair. Now, one such tax collector, who did not walk in the ways of honesty and justice, came to see Bahá’u’lláh’s father and demanded that he pay a certain amount. The first time this happened, His father paid the official without any protest. But then the tax collector came back a second time, asking for more money, and a third time, asking for still more.
Bahá’u’lláh carefully observed the situation and decided to do something about the unfair behavior of the tax collector. Although he was still a youth, He rode His horse for two days until He arrived at the capital city, Ṭihrán. There, he went to see the highest officials in the court and presented His father’s case. His presentation was so convincing, His words and arguments so eloquent, that an order was issued to dismiss the unjust tax collector.
The Greedy Prime Minister
Though Bahá’u’lláh possessed such extraordinary powers and capacity, He never sought a position or prominence as a young man. When His father passed away, He was asked to follow in his footsteps and assume his position in the court of the king. But Bahá’u’lláh refused. He chose instead to devote His energies to the care of the poor and the defense of the weak. At the age of eighteen, Bahá’u’lláh married Ásíyih Khánum, and their home became a shelter for all. To everyone, they showed gracious hospitality, and they had many guests to whom they offered meals in their warm and loving home.
Of course, as a member of a noble family, Bahá’u’lláh was also in constant contact with the highest officials of the land and saw their arrogance, treachery, and greed. To disagree with them could be very dangerous. Yet He was always able to avoid the treachery of the men who exercised such earthly power. The Prime Minister of the king was one such man. Like all those who knew Bahá’u’lláh, the Prime Minister greatly admired Him. He would often visit Bahá’u’lláh in His home and address Him with respect. But, at the same time, he was jealous of Bahá’u’lláh and, when the occasion arose, could not control his greed. This is what happened.
One day the Prime Minister passed through an estate that was owned by Bahá’u’lláh. The Prime Minister was charmed by the beauty of the property. He decided he wanted to own it, and Bahá’u’lláh was instructed to sell the property to him immediately. In those days, when the Prime Minister wanted something for himself, no one dared to say “no” because he was so powerful. “Had this property been exclusively my own, I would willingly have complied with your desire,” Bahá’u’lláh told the Prime Minister. Many villagers lived on the property, and Bahá’u’lláh explained that a number of other people, rich and poor, young and old, shared ownership with Him and that the Prime Minister should also seek
their approval. Since this would be difficult, the Prime Minister now tried to obtain the property through illegal means. Learning of his plans, Bahá’u’lláh managed again to prevent the Prime Minister from seizing the land. He was furious and referred the matter to the king.
To the Prime Minister’s surprise, the king told him to forget the matter, and this made him even angrier. He summoned Bahá’u’lláh to his presence and tried to discredit His good name. He accused Bahá’u’lláh of plotting against him. And what was the evidence he gave for this plot? All he could say was that Bahá’u’lláh welcomed too many guests to His home, and this had to be a sign that He was making some plan against him. Not even he, the Prime Minister, received as many guests as did Bahá’u’lláh. “Gracious God!” Bahá’u’lláh responded. “Is the man who, out of the abundance of his heart, shares his bread with his fellow-men, to be accused of harboring criminal intentions?” The Prime Minister made no reply. He had no argument and everyone could see that Bahá’u’lláh was innocent. Those who knew about this matter marveled at how miraculously He had emerged safely from such a dangerous situation. Surely it was Divine protection, they thought, that ensured His safety time after time. And we know, of course, that nothing could happen to Bahá’u’lláh if it was not ordained by God Himself.
Record your Thoughts
For any of the figures we heard about, use the biography page to write down the information you would like to remember.
- Bahá’u’lláh was born some two hundred years ago, on 12 November 1817, in Ṭihrán, the capital of Persia.
- Bahá’u’lláh’s given name was Mírzá Ḥusayn-‘Alí.
- The name of Bahá’u’lláh’s father was Mírzá Buzurg, and His mother was named Khadíjih Khánum.
- Bahá’u’lláh’s ancestors came from the district of Núr in the province of Mázindarán.
- From an early age, Bahá’u’lláh showed signs of greatness.
- Bahá’u’lláh did not attend school and only received some instruction at home.
- As a young man, Bahá’u’lláh chose to devote His energies to the care of the poor and the defense of the weak.
- At the age of eighteen, Bahá’u’lláh married Ásíyih Khánum
Download the Fact Cards Below
Dream Of The Fish
Perform a short skit on the dream that Baha’u’llah’s father had. Remember that we never portray the Manifestations of God.
Here is a link to make a paper fish.
Balancing the Hula Hoop – ACTING IN UNITY
The object of this game sounds straightforward: Teams of four or five work together to lower a hula hoop from about nose height to the floor, using only the very tips of their fingers. As your students will come to learn, however, it’s much more difficult than it looks
Dayspring magazine issue 98 is all about UNITY
A Play from Dayspring Magazine
The Tree of Life (play and songs) pages 14-16
Cut out puzzle pieces and have the kids paint or draw any of the images from the story.
How Generous Are You?
Take the quiz: download it here
Drawing Together – from Dayspring Magazine #101
Making group pictures You can make these pictures with 2 or more people.
- Each child has a large piece of paper and a pencil.
- In the middle of the table are colored pens and pencils that everyone can reach.
- Each child draws the outline of a house on their paper.
- Everyone passes their paper to the child on their left.
- On the new piece of paper, everyone draws windows in the house.
- The papers are passed on.
- Everyone draws a door.
- The papers are passed on.
This game goes on with more things being added: a chimney, a tree, flowers, a bird, a cat, a dog, a cow, a boy, or a girl. Every time something is added the paper is passed on. When the game ends you will have some very funny pictures that everyone has helped to make.
Dayspring Magazine: coloring pages and puzzles
Dayspring magazine has many activities to help us practice working together
BASED ON THE STORY OF THE FISH
Make a fish craft. We used this craft to make larger fish headpieces for the Bicentenary celebration in Burlington Ontario
Based on the story of the puppet show
Think of a story you would like to tell. Try to use one that has a virtue. Now make some puppets and perform at the feast, the grade 1 class, or a special Holy day. There are many types of puppets to make and a quick GOOGLE search gives lots of options. Also, try searching puppet show craft templates and Puppet show crafts
BRILLIANT STAR MAGAZINE
Baha’u’llah had beautiful handwriting. (Calligraphy). A lot of tablets written by Baha’u’llah were very fancy!
Use the Brilliant Star Magazine to practice your calligraphy.
He is, and hath from everlasting been, one and alone, without peer or equal, eternal in the past, eternal in the future, detached from all things, ever-abiding, unchangeable, and self-subsisting.Gleanings From the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh